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General Category => Amstrad CPC hardware => Topic started by: Bryce on 21:25, 03 March 11

Title: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 21:25, 03 March 11
Hi All,
      I haven't said much about the MegaFlash (writable version of the MegaROM) lately, because I hadn't made any real progress in the last few weeks, mainly due to lack of time, but yesterday and today I had a few hours spare and managed to at least produce a first prototype PCB. I've broken my own rules however (Rule 1: Don't make a PCB until all functional tests have been successfully completed) because if I hadn't made the PCB this time, it could be weeks before I get this much spare time in one lump again, so I went for it, even though it may still have mistakes. Anyway, here's what it looks like at the moment, it's a single sided PCB with waaay too many bridges for my liking (the final layout will have to be a double-sided PCB). It's about 82mm x 70mm, so around the same size as the MegaROM. If I get time at the weekend I'll solder on the components and start doing the first tests.

Bryce.

Oh, and just for MacDeath: Tonights music (while developing the PCB) was JM Jarre - Equinoxe Parts 1 to 8 and (while drilling the 255 holes in the PCB) I chose The Pixies - Surfer Rosa followed by Rage Against The Machine and some Nirvana (it needs to be something loud while the drill is running).
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 04:09, 04 March 11
Great news! Wonderful news! Can't wait to read your progress report ;)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Gryzor on 09:05, 04 March 11
The thing I like most is the CPC etched on the corner :D
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 10:18, 04 March 11
I drew that CPC6128 around 1992 when I was sent on an AutoCAD course (version 10 as far as I can remember) by the first company I worked for. I found it again on a 3.5" disk a few years back and decided it would look cool on CPC PCBs, but it takes up quite a bit of space, so I only put it on larger PCBs (no point in doubling the size of the PCB just for a Logo. It's actually quite detailed, when zoomed you can see all the individual keys and even the text on the monitor is readable, but obviously that level of detail isn't possible in copper at that size.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Gryzor on 12:12, 04 March 11
What can I say - it's really cute :)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 20:05, 04 March 11
I drew that CPC6128 around 1992 when I was sent on an AutoCAD course (version 10 as far as I can remember) by the first company I worked for. I found it again on a 3.5" disk a few years back and decided it would look cool on CPC PCBs, but it takes up quite a bit of space, so I only put it on larger PCBs (no point in doubling the size of the PCB just for a Logo. It's actually quite detailed, when zoomed you can see all the individual keys and even the text on the monitor is readable, but obviously that level of detail isn't possible in copper at that size.

Bryce.

That's a good reason for using only very high quality equippment for PCB production, so everyone can see all details ;D
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 15:28, 05 March 11
Even professional PCB production methods and equipment wouldn't show all the detail at that size.

Bryce.

Btw, This is why the PCB really needs to be doubled sided. That many bridges is not only silly, but also a serious pain in the arse to have to solder:
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Gryzor on 20:11, 05 March 11
This reminded me of the Amiga prototype pics I had seen, everything wired by hand and all that... :D
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 21:05, 05 March 11
Ah that's nothing for an early prototype, they're always an indecipherable tangled mess of wires. This is what the first working MegaROM looked like. I still have this one here, and it still works!!! if you insert the ICs :D

Bryce.

Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Gryzor on 10:25, 06 March 11
Good grace, the patience...
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 22:59, 09 March 11
As I said above, never break your own rules, because several changes did have to be made and there are quite a few optimisations yet to come before it's completely finished and ready for release. Ignore the "floating" IC you can see in the picture it's a temporary addition required for debugging. This is however the first working MegaFlash :) and it's passed all of it's tests :) Hopefully I will get some time next week to optimise it and build the final version.

For those who don't know, this is a DIY 16 slot ROMBoard which is programmable directly from the CPC (Thanks to TFMs Software) and it doesn't require a battery for backup :)

More news as it happens,
Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Gryzor on 08:39, 10 March 11
But I like the floating IC!

Other than that: oooh!
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 10:18, 10 March 11
Well then I'll make a special "floating IC" version especially for you :) Where you can attach you Logic Analyser and Frequency Counter.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Gryzor on 10:44, 10 March 11
Oh yes, please, I have a few of them lying idly about... a shame not to use them.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 23:52, 17 March 11
We're getting forward. After an overwork of the MegaFlashROManager Bryce is currently testing the new software. After the weekend we may made a step forward to the final solution.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 00:23, 18 March 11
From the first Prototype I've made several improvements / optimisations to the hardware and even squeezed some new features in. I'll be building the latest version at the weekend, parts arrived today :) More news when it's built and tested. BTW, I'm in discussions with a PCB producer to have a batch professionally produced, more info later on that too.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Gryzor on 09:03, 18 March 11
Any cost estimates? :)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 09:52, 18 March 11
I'll let you know as soon as I can. My first plan was to let an external company produce the entire board including components, but the price is too high, so I will have the PCBs produced professionally and solder the components myself, that brings the price down a bit. As soon as I have price for the PCB I will start a new thread with the "Who wants one" question. Obviously the quantity made plays a big role in the price too, so the more that order, the lower I can get the price.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 00:41, 19 March 11
Great! Thanks for the update and ... Happy weekend!  ;D
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 00:43, 26 March 11
We have the beta prototype software running now...
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Gryzor on 11:17, 26 March 11
Great! Can't wait :) Any screenshots?
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 22:41, 26 March 11
Great! Can't wait :) Any screenshots?

Well, yes. But it looks like always, since I see no need to invent a new interface. No big deal at all.
 
Take a look here:
 
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/MegaFlashROManager (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/MegaFlashROManager)
 
However, before April 6th I will have no time to work on it. Please be patient.
In addition Bryce had some good ideas and I will try to integrate at least some of them.
 
The take home message is just... we're still working on it  ;)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: SyX on 16:28, 12 April 11
Any news Bryce or TFM? I LOVE THIS PROJECT!!!  :)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 00:21, 13 April 11
 ;D  I hope soon!  ;D
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 07:21, 13 April 11
The ROManager Software has been updated, download it at www.FutureOS.de (http://www.FutureOS.de) in the download section. You can already use it to check out how it will work. There is a version for BASIC (99.9% running) and a version for FutureOS (will run a bit later with real hardware, but can be checked out to see advanced file-menue).
 
Questions? Comments? Please here! Wonders? Not before 2012 ;)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: SyX on 12:04, 13 April 11
I have tested both versions without problems... it would be nice if the "basic" version had the nice file selector of the FutureOS version  ;)

And other possible suggestion (but i will do this when the docs appear), make a RSX for send a rom fast to the board without enter into the gui, i'm thinking in the case of people making & testing new roms. For example, |ROM2FLASH,"A:network1.rom",15
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 21:13, 13 April 11
I have tested both versions without problems... it would be nice if the "basic" version had the nice file selector of the FutureOS version  ;)

Well, Bryce had the same idea. And I'm running out of excuses now ;D . However for Amsdos/Basic I have to code such a kind of file selector from scratch. Maybe I can do something similar, let's see. I'm not so much into firmware any longer. As soon as I have some time I'll care about it.

And other possible suggestion (but i will do this when the docs appear), make a RSX for send a rom fast to the board without enter into the gui, i'm thinking in the case of people making & testing new roms. For example, |ROM2FLASH,"A:network1.rom",15

Such an RSX is a good idea an possible too. But it will screw up at least about 17 KB of RAM. The reason is, if the MegaFlash is switched to write-mode, no program can be running in a ROM. So the program at this time must be located in the RAM and can't use any kind of OS functions. Therefore it must be copied to RAM and.... also the ROM will be loaded into RAM. But the memory below &4000 can remain untouched.
 
I'll keep that RSX in mind - good idea! ;D
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: SyX on 21:34, 13 April 11
Well, Bryce had the same idea. And I'm running out of excuses now ;D . However for Amsdos/Basic I have to code such a kind of file selector from scratch. Maybe I can do something similar, let's see. I'm not so much into firmware any longer. As soon as I have some time I'll care about it.
I know, making a file selector in 2011 is sooooo boring...  and it's perfectly logical that in your "CPC Time", you prefer to use FutureOS and coding for it  ;)

I'll keep that RSX in mind - good idea! ;D
Thanks!  :)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 22:23, 13 April 11
I know, making a file selector in 2011 is sooooo boring...  and it's perfectly logical that in your "CPC Time", you prefer to use FutureOS and coding for it  ;)
Thanks!  :)

Hehe, that sounds fair enough. But in this case the BASIC version of the software has higher importance. So everybody can use it. On the other hand, the original reason to create the MegaFlash was to provide a very cheap & high quality means to allow people to use FutureOS, just to be able to play our upcoming games.
Finally my sparetime is very limited, and that's the point. If I will _have_ some hours off then I will make that kind of file selector. It's not a problem - just a problem of time.
 
Further the FutureOS version will always be a "bit" (like the bit from Clu, first Tron movie) advanced. Loading files will be more quick, and some other stuff. But if you don't count the microseconds you will be ok with both versions of the software.
 
Well, at the moment Bryce is working with a 256 KB prototype, but he likes to shift the project to 512 KB (I like that too). Concerning the software I just have to change a variable in the source before assembling, then we already have the software for the 512 KB. This means in essence:
- 32 instead of 16 ROMs (16-31 can be used due to Booster Software)
- other Flashing algorithm
- and maybe some additional gimmicks
 
 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: SyX on 23:52, 13 April 11
Further the FutureOS version will always be a "bit" (like the bit from Clu, first Tron movie) advanced. Loading files will be more quick, and some other stuff. But if you don't count the microseconds you will be ok with both versions of the software.
Jejeje, that sounds fair, too  ;D

   
Well, at the moment Bryce is working with a 256 KB prototype, but he likes to shift the project to 512 KB (I like that too).
ME TOO!!!  ;D

I want that this project get the recognition that deserve and i hope that it will be used for new hardware expansions, making them smaller and cheaper (they would not need to add a rom neither the logic to page it)  :)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 06:01, 15 April 11
Also the ROManager version for FutureOS is finished now. Can be downloaded also at www.FutureOS.de (http://www.FutureOS.de) (download section). Bryce will test it as soon as he has time and passion for it ;-)
 
Now (for me) the phase of polishing the software begins... and Bryce will (if I'm allowed to guess) focus on the 512 KB version, since the 256 KB version is already running.
 
Have a good weekend all together...
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 19:30, 21 June 11
A question here, it's a bit a philosophical question. Well, shall software babysit you or shall it allow you to kill your machine...
 
In detail: Do you think that the FlashROManager software shall warn you before deleting BASIC, AMSDOS of FutureOS (when using it currently)? Or do you think this is just a bothering additional comment???
 
Bryce and TFM appreciate your comments! Please comment here ... : X  :)
 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 22:49, 21 June 11
"Kill your machine" is a bit over the top. It's only the AMDOS / BASIC on the MegaFlash that would be deleted! There's no damage to the AMSDOS or BASIC inside the CPC. The CPC just crashes. But I think it should warn you that your machine is about to crash.

Bryce.

:) My PC already has this warning built in - As soon as it says "Windows is starting" I know it's likely to crash some time soon :)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 23:14, 21 June 11
I suppose I should probably give a hardware update too while I'm here. The schematics are finished and I have several possible layouts done. I'm working on the final layout, which I will build probably by the end of the month and use for the final software tests. As soon as these are finished I will release more info and a few pictures.

Unfortunately I have very little time at the moment, so progress is much slower than I would like it to be.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: McKlain on 23:32, 21 June 11
:) My PC already has this warning built in - As soon as it says "Windows is starting" I know it's likely to crash some time soon :)

 Still using Windows 95?  ;D
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 23:45, 21 June 11
No, I use Linux, windows is just for starting games  ;)

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 23:44, 22 June 11
Well, at the moment nobody seems to care about additional messages... maybe CPC freaks are all smart enought to know, that it is not funny to mess with BASIC etc.
 
For the Checksum... they can't be adapted in ROMs 0 and 7, because they don't have checksums like all other ROMs. The only exception that I know is ParaDOS which also has no checksum (at &FFFF).
 
However I will put it on the 2DO-when-time-is-left list ;-)
 
cu. TFM
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: SyX on 16:25, 23 June 11
Well, i guess that it should not hurt to warn about it, but the really important is that if you want, you can destroy (for example, a new basic rom, ...) and raise it from the dead  ;)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 17:44, 23 June 11
It's a long weekend here in Germany, 4 days of weekend and my plan was to get lots of electronics done. Unfortunately my soldering iron decided destroy all my plans by dying this morning, the weekend is ruined :(

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 20:16, 23 June 11
OMG! Now, in this case I suggest to relax and enjoy the weekend with family and friends.
 
Well... I think about a warning message, that just appears, but it doesn't stop you. I mean, there are good reasons to change the BASIC ROM f.e. you can replace "Ready" by "Hello" and I know a lot of small patches that make sense too (f.e. get rid of the ,p protection etc...).
 
Which text can be used? "WARNING! You are going to alter parts of the OS!
 
(So this message is valid for the basic, the amsdos and the futureos roms).
 
Better ideas???
 
Can somebody translate this to French, Spanish, Nederlands?
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: SyX on 23:24, 23 June 11
OMG! Now, in this case I suggest to relax and enjoy the weekend with family and friends.
That is always the best option  ;) or desing more of your "hardware magic" for the CPC  ;D (Totally offtopic: But Bryce, would be too complicated to attach a pair of paddles or spinners to our CPCs???)

Well... I think about a warning message, that just appears, but it doesn't stop you. I mean, there are good reasons to change the BASIC ROM f.e. you can replace "Ready" by "Hello" and I know a lot of small patches that make sense too (f.e. get rid of the ,p protection etc...).
Totally of course  :)
 
Which text can be used? "WARNING! You are going to alter parts of the OS!
(So this message is valid for the basic, the amsdos and the futureos roms).
Better ideas???
Well, i would add "and the CPC could not restart", to explain the consequences of that change :P

 
Can somebody translate this to French, Spanish, Nederlands?
Spanish: ¡Cuidado! ¡Usted va a alterar partes del S.O.!
And with the sentence that i added: ¡Cuidado! ¡Usted va a alterar partes del S.O. y el CPC podría no reiniciarse!
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 18:14, 24 June 11
Thanks for the Spanish Translation, now we need it in French and Nederlands. Here is what I have now, if you have any "update", please just post it here.
 
ENG: "WARNING! You are going to alter parts of the OS! The CPC may not restart"
 
SPA: "¡Cuidado! ¡Usted va a alterar partes del S.O. y el CPC podría no reiniciarse!"
 
GER: "Achtung! Sie manipulieren das OS! Dies behindert u. U. den Neustart des CPC."
 
 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: archcosmo on 14:54, 27 June 11
Hi Bryce

quick question about the MegaFlash - it's in the same vein as recent questions for rpalmer's IDE8255 interface :) - but does your preferred design include a through connector too? perhaps an extension to the PCB with a card edge connector similar to the UK 6128 , or solder point for Centronics port for Schneider owners? Im interested in using this alongside the IDE8255, so some advice would be most welcome

thanks


I suppose I should probably give a hardware update too while I'm here. The schematics are finished and I have several possible layouts done. I'm working on the final layout, which I will build probably by the end of the month and use for the final software tests. As soon as these are finished I will release more info and a few pictures.

Unfortunately I have very little time at the moment, so progress is much slower than I would like it to be.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: McKlain on 15:14, 27 June 11
That is always the best option  ;) or desing more of your "hardware magic" for the CPC  ;D (Totally offtopic: But Bryce, would be too complicated to attach a pair of paddles or spinners to our CPCs???)Totally of course  :)
 Well, i would add "and the CPC could not restart", to explain the consequences of that change :P

 Spanish: ¡Cuidado! ¡Usted va a alterar partes del S.O.!
And with the sentence that i added: ¡Cuidado! ¡Usted va a alterar partes del S.O. y el CPC podría no reiniciarse!

¿Usted?  :laugh:
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 16:16, 27 June 11
@archcosmo (or anyone else who's interested): When I design circuits that connect to the expansion port, I usually just put a 50way header on the PCB, that way you can swap between edge and Centronics connectors if you happen to own both a 464 and a 6128/plus (as I do). To make a thru-connection you can extend the flat cable and add a second header connector, or a socket. The advantage of this method is that one layout can be used on all types of CPC.

That probably didn't make any sense to anyone. So have a look at the picture of the MegaROMs 50way header here: http://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/5/53/MegaROM.png (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/5/53/MegaROM.png)

And the two possible connections (Edge and Centronics) here: http://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/8/8a/MegaROM_Cables.png (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/8/8a/MegaROM_Cables.png)

Did that make sense?

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: SyX on 17:26, 27 June 11
After talk with McKlain ;)

TFM, would you mind to change the spanish translation to the more friendly:
¡Cuidado! ¡Vas a alterar partes del S.O.! 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 17:33, 27 June 11
I also think a change is needed to the warning in general. It's too uninformative. I think it would make more sense to inform the user of what needs to be done, something like: "You are about to delete the external Basic/AmsDOS. The MegaFlash Basic/DOS jumper needs to be switched back to 'internal' and the CPC restarted for further operation". I know it's a lot, but at least the user isn't left thinking: WTF...And then?

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: redbox on 18:14, 27 June 11
I also think a change is needed to the warning in general. It's too uninformative. I think it would make more sense to inform the user of what needs to be done, something like: "You are about to delete the external Basic/AmsDOS. The MegaFlash Basic/DOS jumper needs to be switched back to 'internal' and the CPC restarted for further operation". I know it's a lot, but at least the user isn't left thinking: WTF...And then?

Or a two stage approach:

1) This will delete the external OS. Are you sure?

Then once deleted:

2) External OS deleted. Change MegaFlash jumper to Internal OS.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 19:56, 27 June 11
After talk with McKlain ;)

TFM, would you mind to change the spanish translation to the more friendly:
¡Cuidado! ¡Vas a alterar partes del S.O.!

Ok, here the new texts, please help me with the second Spanish sentence. And maybe somebody can translate it to French / Dutch?
 
Here what we have:
 
ENG: "WARNING! You are going to alter parts of the OS! The CPC may not restart."
        "Read the documentation for more information. Press ESC to end action."
 
SPA: "¡Cuidado! ¡Vas a alterar partes del S.O. y el CPC podría no reiniciarse!
 
DEU: "Achtung! Sie manipulieren das OS! Dies behindert u. U. den Neustart des CPC."
        "Weitere Informationen sind im Handbuch enthalten. ESC um abzubrechen."
 
 
Any ideas are welcome :-)))
 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 20:02, 27 June 11
I also think a change is needed to the warning in general. It's too uninformative. I think it would make more sense to inform the user of what needs to be done, something like: "You are about to delete the external Basic/AmsDOS. The MegaFlash Basic/DOS jumper needs to be switched back to 'internal' and the CPC restarted for further operation". I know it's a lot, but at least the user isn't left thinking: WTF...And then?

Bryce.

That can be misleading, if you just "update" your Basic or replace ROM 7 with ParaDOS or XD-DOS for example. Maybe it's better to mention that all in more datail in the handbook of the software.
 
I have to make some RTFM T-Shirts  :laugh:
 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Ythcal on 20:05, 27 June 11
Quote
DEU: "Achtung! Sie manipulieren das OS! Dies behindert u. U. den Neustart des CPC."
        "ESC um abzubrechen."

I hate to be named "Sie" by my computer. Please make it "Du" or something neutral, like:
"Achtung! Das OS wird verändert! Dies behindert u. U. den Neustart des CPC."
"ESC um abzubrechen."
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 20:14, 27 June 11
I hate to be named "Sie" by my computer. Please make it "Du" or something neutral, like:
"Achtung! Das OS wird verändert! Dies behindert u. U. den Neustart des CPC."
"ESC um abzubrechen."

Ok, so far so good:
 
ENG: "WARNING! You are going to alter parts of the OS! The CPC may not restart."
     "Read the handbook for more information. Press ESC to stop action."
 
SPA: "¡Cuidado! ¡Vas a alterar partes del S.O. y el CPC podría no reiniciarse!

 
DEU: "Achtung! Das OS wird manipuliert! Dies behindert u. U. den Neustart des CPC."
     "Weitere Informationen sind im Handbuch enthalten. ESC um abzubrechen."

I'm trying to use no Umlauts, only the CPC charset.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: SyX on 20:23, 27 June 11
And the spanish version updated would be:

SPA: "¡Cuidado! ¡Vas a alterar partes del S.O. y el CPC podría no reiniciarse!
"
     "Lee el manual de instrucciones para más información. Pulsa ESC si deseas cancelar."     
 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: redbox on 20:29, 27 June 11
ENG: "WARNING! You are going to alter parts of the OS! The CPC may not restart."
     "Read the handbook for more information. Press ESC to stop action."

The "Press ESC to stop action" is not grammatically correct - the 'action' needs to be owned (so maybe "Press ESC to stop this action", or even easier "Press ESC to cancel"). 

Also, English tends to avoid "You" in an instruction because it sounds too strong, usually it's "This will" rather than "You will/are" (e.g. "This will alter parts of the OS and the CPC may not restart").

Or you could just leave it as it is, sounds nice to me in an efficient "written by a German" kind of way  :)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 20:32, 27 June 11
@Syx and Redbox: Thanks a lot for your help!
 
Now we got:
 

ENG: "WARNING! This will alter parts of the OS! The CPC may not restart."
     "Read the handbook for more information. Press ESC to cancel."
 
SPA: "¡Cuidado! ¡Vas a alterar partes del S.O. y el CPC podría no reiniciarse!"
     "Lee el manual de instrucciones para más información. Pulsa ESC si deseas cancelar."

 
DEU: "Achtung! Das OS wird manipuliert! Dies behindert u. U. den Neustart des CPC."
     "Weitere Informationen sind im Handbuch enthalten. ESC um abzubrechen."

Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: redbox on 20:33, 27 June 11
ENG: "WARNING! This will alter parts of the OS! The CPC may not restart."
     "Read the handbook for more information. Press ESC to cancel."

 :)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 20:37, 27 June 11
ENG: "WARNING! This will alter parts of the OS! The CPC may not restart."
     "Read the handbook for more information. Press ESC to cancel."

 :)

Right, now we need it in French. Anybody out there?
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Pentagon on 00:03, 28 June 11
Ummmmm.....

.....we are the last existing CPC Users in this world  :D

i think anybody of us should know, if we flash into Socket 0 or 7 that it could be a black screen result. Nothing could be damaged, i did that 10000 times.
is it really necessary to do that restrictive warning?


Hmmmmm....
.....wir sind die letzen CPC Überlebenden auf der Welt :-)

jeder von uns sollte doch eigentlich wissen, daß wenn man in der 0 oder 7 rumwerkelt, es einen schwarzen Bildschirm könnte. Aber es kann eigentlich nichts beschädigt werden,
hab ich 10000 mal gemacht.
Ist so eine "böse" Warnung wirklich notwendig?

Gruß
Tom / Pentagon

Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 10:43, 28 June 11
I hate to be named "Sie" by my computer. Please make it "Du" or something neutral, like:
"Achtung! Das OS wird verändert! Dies behindert u. U. den Neustart des CPC."
"ESC um abzubrechen."

"Sie" is not good enough, I'd prefer my CPC to refer to me as "Ihr" ie: "Achtung! Ihr manipuliert das OS!" :D

Bryce.

P.s. There's going to be a software handbook?? Fuck, I haven't even documented the hardware at all yet! 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Breiztiger on 10:45, 28 June 11
Hello
French translation
ENG: "WARNING! You are going to alter parts of the OS! The CPC may not restart."
        "Read the documentation for more information. Press ESC to end action."

FRE: "Attention ! Vous êtes sur le point de modifier le logiciel système ! Le CPC risque de ne pas redémarrer."
"Lisez la documentation pour plus d'information. Pressez ESC pour abandonner l'action."
Philippe
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: arnoldemu on 11:25, 28 June 11
thankyou and welcome to cpcwiki!

EDIT: Breiztiger please register as a user then the moderators do not need to always approve your postings.

Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 02:12, 29 June 11
Thanks a lot Breiztiger, now I only have to get the Dutch translation and I know where...
 
Pentagon, well it's just a message, just ignore it, you don't have to press an extra key. I mean you are right, everybody knows it. But if there is one guy / gal out there never before been using a ROM / Flash Box, so let's save that poor soul  ;D
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Ythcal on 16:17, 30 June 11
Quote
"Sie" is not good enough, I'd prefer my CPC to refer to me as "Ihr" ie: "Achtung! Ihr manipuliert das OS!"

Multiple personalities?
Then I want to be adressed as "Ihro Gnaden manipuliert das OS!" ('Your grace are going to alter...')
 ;)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: McKlain on 16:19, 30 June 11
Put the messages in a textfile and just let people modify them at will  :laugh:
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 16:33, 30 June 11
Not multiple personalities, just 3. Person old German (Pronominale Anrede)  :) known in english as "The Royal We".

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 21:13, 30 June 11
Hi All,
     tonight I got a few hours to get something done and managed to revive the MegaFlash Prototype that I killed a while back. I'm just using it to do some tests on, but it's not the final design. There was a major change to the design, which is one of the reasons for the major delay. We decided that it should offer 32 ROMs instead of just 16. Only the first 16 will be initialised automatically by the CPC, but the other 16 are fully addressable, so you can either put ROMs there and initialise them with a ROMManager or you could use the space (256K) to "store" ROMs that you could shift down to 0-16 when you needed them (Moving a ROM takes less than 2 seconds) or you could just use the space as a memory-stick to store whatever you wanted (screens, music, whatever) there. I'm sure someone will come up with ideas for software that could make use of instant storage space.

Either way, here's a picture of the current Prototype, it's been seriously abused / changed / brought back to life, so it's not pretty. I don't think I will bother releasing a single sided layout, it just too messy and has too many bridges, but I've finished the double-sided layout, which I will release as soon as it's been tested.

Bryce.


Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Kris on 22:54, 30 June 11
Nice to hear that this project is on the way to be released, especially with the last modifications (up to 32 Roms).
How do you manage the different roms ? Are you using dipswitch to select the ones you need as on a Ramcard or is it only a software selection ?

Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 23:04, 30 June 11
Put the messages in a textfile and just let people modify them at will  :laugh:

Ok, ok, the source code (containing the texts) will be available - as soon as the program is in final stage.
 
Oh mighty Birnbaum ;-) Why not, people can have some fun with it; and maybe some are interrested in the programs architecture or whatever - or you can even give some hints how to make it better ;-)
 
@Bryce: Great to see it moving on. And yes, thanks to the Inicron ROM Booster we can use all 32 as expansion ROMs (igrnoring BASIC + AmsDOS). Btw. The ROM Booster is a ROM placed a position 15, it initializes ROMs 16-32. But the routines only need few bytes, so you can add some more stuff to the Booster ROM.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 23:07, 30 June 11
Nice to hear that this project is on the way to be released, especially with the last modifications (up to 32 Roms).
How do you manage the different roms ? Are you using dipswitch to select the ones you need as on a Ramcard or is it only a software selection ?

Well, you can clear every ROM (or make a copy of the BASIC rom out of it, like it does the CPC from the shelves). So you can manage it all using software.
 
 
Again I need some help... Can somebody please translate this into Spanish?
 
Please select the source ROM
Please select the target ROM

Thanks a lot for your help!!!
 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: MiguelSky on 01:00, 01 July 11
Please select the source ROM
Por favor, seleccione la ROM origen
 
Please select the target ROM
Por favor, seleccione la ROM destino
 
Btw, now that you are coding in RomManager: the entry of the File menu "Abrir ROM" needs to be changed to "Cargar ROM".
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: McKlain on 01:10, 01 July 11
Better use "selecciona", less formal, like the other warning message.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Pentagon on 01:24, 01 July 11
Quote
But if there is one guy / gal out there never before been using a ROM / Flash Box, so let's save that poor soul

okay, okay if there is really that one out there who doesnt know it, well you gave your best to save him  ;D

Good Job anyway i am very excited to read more of it.


Regards
Tom / Pentagon

Title: Incomplete without Latin. Ancient Greek, antediluvian cuneiform&Klingon optional
Post by: OCT on 19:31, 01 July 11
Forgetting Latin, as of course it should feature those famous (last?) words:
"Descende, audax operator, et CPCe centrum attinges." (Wonder who'll be the first to get the allusion, ;) and/or start an argument about millenia-old grammar as applied to 1980s' IT acronyms).

Trying to cover all languages is a little over the top IMHO (and let's not get anyone started on Klingon :D) - English will do, as it did back in 1985 approx., when my vocabulary at that was BASIC in the very literal, all-caps sense.
Title: Re: Incomplete without Latin. Ancient Greek, antediluvian cuneiform&Klingon optional
Post by: SyX on 20:41, 01 July 11
Forgetting Latin, as of course it should feature those famous (last?) words:
"Descende, audax operator, et CPCe centrum attinges." (Wonder who'll be the first to get the allusion, ;) and/or start an argument about millenia-old grammar as applied to 1980s' IT acronyms).
Niceeeeeeeeee  :) Although i hope that the CRTC doesn't convert in lava  ;D

Well, the use of latin, runes or hieroglyphics always will look sexy in retrocomputing  8) ... and the mix with old technology, because i will can rest in peace, the day that i can see and touch a Steampunk (http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/steampunk-gameboy.jpg) CPC (http://www.google.com/search?q=steampunk+keyboards&hl=es&client=iceweasel-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:unofficial&prmd=ivns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ZQYOTtfYIs3AswbAh4WCDw&ved=0CEEQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=859)  :D
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 23:24, 01 July 11
A steampunk CPC, what a seriously cool idea. I think I've just decided what my next project is :)

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: OCT on 02:07, 02 July 11
A steampunk CPC [...] I've just decided what my next project is :)
As a tribute to Zuse, you'll have to rebuild the Z80 from postal relays and port Plankalkül to it of course. ;)
Oh and it does need Nixie tubes somewhere...
Unless you're only using cams (with cranks, for cranks ;)), in Babbage's Analytical Engine or even Posidonius' Antikythera Mechanism style. :D
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Ythcal on 09:59, 02 July 11
Quote
A steampunk CPC, what a seriously cool idea. I think I've just decided what my next project is

Damn, I want to do this for a year now but had Not find the time and all parts yet...
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: spybro on 17:15, 02 July 11
@Bryce (the hardware magician)


have you made any rough estimation on the cost?


also


the rest of your ideas?are they still alive?any news on them?





Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: SyX on 17:21, 02 July 11
I know that MegaFlash is a really sexy project, but this thread has changed to hardcore hardware porn with "a Steampunk CPC", "relays", "Plankalkül" and "Nixie tubes", we need a disk drive with a steam engine!!!  ;D

A steampunk CPC, what a seriously cool idea. I think I've just decided what my next project is :)
I think i've just decided to emigrate at Bryce town xDDDD
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 18:01, 02 July 11
@Spybro: The MegaFlash will probably cost around €75 because I will have to have the PCBs produced professionally. But of course, all the plans / files will be online, so if you can make it yourself cheaper, then you can always do that.

Due to the fact that I have very little time at the moment (about 2 hours a week for CPC stuff), none of the other ideas have had any further work done on them up to now. My biggest and best ever project is due to be released in the next few weeks and it's taking so much of my time, that my CPC stuff has to take second place. More about that later though.

As far as Steampunk is concerned, I've never done anything Steampunk before, but I have this seriously cool antique Pifco All In One Multimeter (see picture below). It's real, it works and it seems to be made of brass. I've always wanted to integrate it into something Steampunkish, It would be pretty cool to display the 5V supply or the current consumption on a CPC. It was my Grandfathers (there's a long history of electronics in our family), but I'm sure he wouldn't mind it being put to good use :) It was made in 1930, but it's not worth that much, I've seen them go on ebay for €2.

Bryce.



Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 03:26, 06 July 11
Please select the source ROM
Por favor, seleccione la ROM origen
 
Please select the target ROM
Por favor, seleccione la ROM destino
 
Btw, now that you are coding in RomManager: the entry of the File menu "Abrir ROM" needs to be changed to "Cargar ROM".

Thank's to both translators a whole lot!!! I will integrate that soon :-)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Gryzor on 13:23, 10 July 11
As far as Steampunk is concerned, I've never done anything Steampunk before, but I have this seriously cool antique Pifco All In One Multimeter (see picture below). It's real, it works and it seems to be made of brass. I've always wanted to integrate it into something Steampunkish, It would be pretty cool to display the 5V supply or the current consumption on a CPC. It was my Grandfathers (there's a long history of electronics in our family), but I'm sure he wouldn't mind it being put to good use :) It was made in 1930, but it's not worth that much, I've seen them go on ebay for €2.

Seriously cool and lovely. I'd just put it somewhere as an ornament, somewhere I could look at it all the time...
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 20:47, 10 July 11
That's exactly what it does at the moment - Ornament. Although I do use it on occasions just for the fun of it.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: OCT on 01:31, 11 July 11
Convert it into the pressure gauge for your steam engine (or is it going to be a Stirling one, to counter SyX's allegations of "steam porn"?). :D
To power a CPC you'll need some 40 watts at 50% generator efficiency after all (which would be high for literal steampunk). ;)

Not a world's first anymore though: Steam Powered Computer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S77WDe71v1E#)

...and people with way too much time and rack space on their hands have come up with "greater" things, or should I say more monstrous ones indeed:
Frankenstein's Computer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ybOPrvBoyc#)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: OCT on 01:44, 11 July 11
I know that MegaFlash is a really sexy project, but this thread has changed to hardcore hardware porn with "a Steampunk CPC", "relays", "Plankalkül" and "Nixie tubes", we need a disk drive with a steam engine!!!  ;D
No one had even mentioned Tesla coils... just yet :D http://tesladownunder.com (http://tesladownunder.com) (and even LEDs are somewhat overpowered with this guy - a physician when he's not a hobby physicist BTW: http://tesladownunder.com/LEDs.htm#100%20W%20LED (http://tesladownunder.com/LEDs.htm#100%20W%20LED)).

At either of which points any other wife (with the exception of geek girls) would have called the divorce attorney... ;)
Quote
I think i've just decided to emigrate at Bryce town xDDDD
They called the place Eureka (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0796264/) last time I checked. ;)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: SyX on 10:28, 11 July 11
They called the place Eureka (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0796264/) last time I checked. ;)
LOL  8) Exquisite timming Mr. Octoate, exquisite timming  ;)
Well, in that case, i think that Carter need a new deputy, i will apply for that job  ;D
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 10:52, 11 July 11
Seems like a lot of work this Steampunk stuff, I think I'll leave it to others that have lots of time.

Bryce.

@OCT: What good is a Tesla Coil? They don't produce power, they just use up tons of it.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Octoate on 11:04, 11 July 11
LOL  8) Exquisite timming Mr. Octoate, exquisite timming  ;)
Huh? OCT != me ;D.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: SyX on 12:51, 11 July 11
Ayyyss, sorry Octoate  :( but if you love steampunk, too, that's the thread ;D
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 20:03, 11 July 11
Ayyyss, sorry Octoate  :( but if you love steampunk, too, that's the thread ;D

That's NOT the thread here! And now please got back to topic. Please open your own steam-punk thread! Ok punks? :P
Title: Re: MegaSteampunk Progress
Post by: OCT on 01:29, 12 July 11
What good is a Tesla Coil? They don't produce power, they just use up tons of it.
Indispensible for visual effects to set the steampunkish scene, cf. Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0017136).
(For appropriate audio the AY needs to be complemented by a Theremin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theremin) of course...)
Nuff said, ;) TFM's rightfully reclaimed (t)his thread.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: SyX on 12:01, 12 July 11
No MegaFlash!!! No Future!!!  ;D

TFM, another suggestion for the software, remember that i told you about make an RSX for making fast tests, well i was thinking if your actual rom manager is rom "friendly" (not use self-modify code, etc...), because if it's not very difficult, it would be really great to include it in all the MegaFlash :)

What do you think?
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 12:26, 12 July 11
We were discussing this lately, what should be on the MegaFlash when it's delivered. Obviously, I will need to write and read back something from each one to test that it's working properly, but populating the entire Flash is time consuming. Due to the fact that everyone will want something different and the owner can easily write their own images to the MegaFlash without any additional hardware anyway, I will probably just flash one image to it for the test and this will most likely be a test pattern rather than a functional program. The owner can then populate it with what they want when it arrives.

I'm also not sure that the ROMManager software can run from directly from ROM, rather it needs to be fully copied to RAM first, but that's a question for TFM.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 19:02, 12 July 11
Well, SyX and Bryce, first Thanks for the ideas. I'm thinking roughly the same. I try to do the following:
 
- Finish the FlashROManager
 
- Create a FlashROManager that fits (in which way ever) into a 16 KB ROM. It will run in RAM though, because a program that is inside a ROM can't flash another ROM at the same time.
 
- Create a special software, that tests the MegaFlash for integrity and install a pre-choosen set of ROMs
 
However, I have to celebrate today a bit... so don't expect me to be in working condition again before this weekend ;-)
 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: SyX on 14:01, 13 July 11
Interesting things appears in your TODO list, TFM  :)

I hope that you had a great celebration yesterday, here we have the fair of the town all the week  ;D   
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 01:18, 15 July 11
Interesting things appears in your TODO list, TFM  :)

I hope that you had a great celebration yesterday, here we have the fair of the town all the week  ;D

I hope you will make it through it.
 
Well, yes, at the weekend I try to integrate a Flash-Check function to the FlashROManger, which has been released now (July 12. - hehe) in Version 1.26 (for Basic and FutureOS). I also updated the SF2 ROManager.
 
Hope really that I find enough time...
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 21:57, 16 July 11
Here it is, the final Prototype and it works perfectly :) For those of you who don't know, this is a 32 ROM, from CPC writable ROMBoard. For either 16 or 32 standard ROMs, or 16 standard ROMs plus 256K flash memory. Jumpers to enable/disable ROMs 0 and 7 and a write-protection switch.

This is just the prototype, the final version will be much smaller (due to double layer PCB). I will be having the PCBs made professionally and will start a "who wants one" thread as soon as I have worked out all the details.

Bryce.


Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: robcfg on 22:27, 16 July 11
Looks so cooooool!  :o


/me wants one!
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Kris on 22:42, 16 July 11
Great job !!
I actually use 2 ramcards to have 15 Roms extensions but it takes "a lot of place", megaflash (in its definitive design) will be the right solution.
Thanks for this new piece of hardware.

Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: qbert on 22:58, 16 July 11
I definitively want need one too !!


qbert/.

Here it is, the final Prototype and it works perfectly :) For those of you who don't know, this is a 32 ROM, from CPC writable ROMBoard. For either 16 or 32 standard ROMs, or 16 standard ROMs plus 256K flash memory. Jumpers to enable/disable ROMs 0 and 7 and a write-protection switch.

This is just the prototype, the final version will be much smaller (due to double layer PCB). I will be having the PCBs made professionally and will start a "who wants one" thread as soon as I have worked out all the details.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: qbert on 23:06, 16 July 11
A question : would it give the possibility to switch off each bank individually or 16 bank at a time ? If not, why ?
An usable ROM configuration most probably have to change the ROM distribution from boot to boot or it will give much work to software reset/reload the various banks from disk between two differents usages  :-[ . That why a simple switch system would be so useful.
But I'm still interested for sure , whatever happen.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 23:15, 16 July 11
You can switch off ROM 0 and ROM 7 individually with hardware (jumpers) and you can switch off any other ROM individually with the ROMManager and other ROM Management software but that's it. Adding a switch for every one of the 32 ROMs would mean adding quite a bit of additional components which would push up the size and the price, which goes against my rules of "Keep it small, keep it cheap".

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Gryzor on 01:19, 17 July 11
Now, let's see how long for a floppy emulator/Megaflash combo ;)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 01:24, 17 July 11
That's up to the software people, not my department :)

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: qbert on 10:13, 17 July 11
Another question about the banks, but not specifically Megaflash-related this time (RAMCARD and other Rom-Ram Boxes are concerned too)
Counsidering Bank 0 and 1 are covered by the card, is that possible to override the motherboard's BASIC and Firmware banks ? i.e having BASIC 1.1 on a 464 for example...
Title: Re: ROMs 0 and 7 on MegaFlash
Post by: OCT on 13:27, 17 July 11
You can switch off ROM 0 and ROM 7 individually with hardware (jumpers)
Is there a way they can override/ROMDIS both of the CPC's internal ones? I seem to recall only one of the ROMs was wired to allow for that - so does it require a small hardware modification for the other?

Another interesting option would be the ability to have various "flavors" of 0 (e.g. 464/6128/6128+) and 7 (AMSDOS/PARADOS/&friends) selectable for the many pieces of software that won't work on the more advanced ones - I have switches to toggle among the first two of each (in piggy-backed physical EPROMs) on my old-generation 6128 of course.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 14:47, 17 July 11
@qbert: Yes, you can overwrite ROM 0 (Basic) on any CPC, but you can not simply replace Basic 1.0 with Basic 1.1 without having replaced the lower ROM (Firmware), the reason for this is that the Firmware Version has to match the Basic Version. You can create patched/edited Basic ROMs and no changes need to be made inside the CPC. The MegaFlash can't overwrite the Firmware, so this would have to be done inside the CPC or with an additional expansion card.

@OCT: Correct, on Classic CPCs you can only overwrite ROM 0, but ROM7 can only be replaced by the MegaFlash ROM 7 if the internal one has been disabled manually, ROMDIS on Classic CPCs cannot disable ROM 7. On plus machines, you can overwrite ROMs 0 and 7 with the MegaFlash without modifying the CPC. And obviously all 464 don't have a ROM 7, so you can use that position on a 464, unless of course you have a DDI-1 attached, in which case you would have to disable the ROM in that. The most useful function here is with a 6128+, where switching JP2 allows you to switch between AMSDOS and an alternative (ParaDOS or whatever) on the MegaFlash.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash ROM override
Post by: OCT on 21:51, 17 July 11
On plus machines, you can overwrite ROMs 0 and 7 with the MegaFlash without modifying the CPC. [...] The most useful function here is with a 6128+, where switching JP2 allows you to switch between AMSDOS and an alternative (ParaDOS or whatever) on the MegaFlash.
If I understand this correctly, the Plus might be able to start up from nothing but the MegaFlash even without a cartridge?
And the MegaFlash (just like a modified cartridge formerly did) might present to the Plus a "classic" 464 or 6128 ROM (and possibly AMSDOS if that is different to the old one as well - IIRC only the latter supported Logo, but no system disks came with my very recent&first-ever-acquired Plus anyway; sorry for being two decades late to the show ;)), eliminating some source of incompatibility?
However, it would get yet more versatile if it had one more switch to select which of its ROMs it presents as to the CPC(+) as 0 or 7, respectively?
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 23:44, 17 July 11
No, the Plus can't start with only a MegaFlash because it needs an ACID to start, which the MegaFlash doesn't have.

And no, the MegaFlash can't offer several versions of ROM 0 or 7, it just has one ROM 0 and one ROM 7 which can over-write the internal/cartridge ROM.

Sorry to rain on your party :( but the ROM numbers are hard-wired on the MegaFlash, you can't just pick one and say: "This one is ROM 0/7"

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: OCT on 23:53, 17 July 11
No, the Plus can't start with only a MegaFlash because it needs an ACID to start, which the MegaFlash doesn't have.
OIC, thought the ACID was only required for its advanced features.

Quote
the MegaFlash can't offer several versions of ROM 0 or 7, it just has one ROM 0 and one ROM 7 which can over-write the internal/cartridge ROM.

Sorry to rain on your party :( but the ROM numbers are hard-wired on the MegaFlash, you can't just pick one and say: "This one is ROM 0/7"
My thinking was that it might be possible to toggle one address bit to turn another ROM into the required one, as it used to be done with quad-capacity EPROMs longer than the actual sockets.
If it is not, there will still be the ROM manager to replace them as needed, but switching them in place might have been even more useful.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 00:05, 18 July 11
Strange, I also always thought that the ACID only enabled enhanced features and it's also documented that way (or at least confusingly) in many places which would lead you to believe that, but I have been corrected by people who know better and I have also confirmed this with my own tests. The ACID is always required.

Ah, I see what you mean (regarding toggling bits). Yes that might be possible, but I never considered that feature and it might get confusing when writing the ROMs, but technically possible.

Bryce.


Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Executioner on 07:17, 18 July 11
I thought the ACID was only used to encode the data from the cartridge so the Plus could read it, and was there to make it hard to copy cartridges. I don't think the ACID applies at all to external ROMs. Does the MegaFlash allow replacement of the Lower ROM (firmware). If a ROM box could do that on a Plus, you should be able to boot straight into a custom ROM plugged into the expansion port and dump carts with no other hardware.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 09:59, 18 July 11
No, the MegaFlash only replaces ROM 0 Basic and as far as I have been told, even replacing lower ROM wouldn't avoid needing an ACID. As far as I know (and here I'm just repeating what others have told me), the ACID functionality is hardwired into the ASIC and is always needed no matter what the CPC is trying to run.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: arnoldemu on 12:13, 18 July 11
As far as I know (and here I'm just repeating what others have told me), the ACID functionality is hardwired into the ASIC and is always needed no matter what the CPC is trying to run.

Bryce.

My understanding is the same.

The ACID talks to the ASIC. If the conversion is not correct, the z80 is forced to read bad data and it will then crash.

To use advanced features, you send a special sequence *to the ASIC*, acid is not involved.

I think the idea is that a cartridge *MUST* be inserted for the plus to run, but only because the cartridge also contains the acid.
The ROM data is not encrypted as we know.

If you inserted a tiny board with just an ASIC on it into the cartridge slot, the plus will boot. It will then read "floating bus" unless some roms assert themselves.  So then the roms need to be provided externally (rom board to provide 0-15, other to provide OS) ;)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 14:25, 18 July 11
Hi all,
     I need to start finding out how many people want a MegaFlash so that I can tell the PCB manufacturer what I need built. Can you please send me a PM if you are interested in having one (or more). It looks like the price will be €75. I can supply the connection cable for Centronics CPC's for €7 extra and I have managed to source 10 50way edge-connectors, but they were expensive, so the edge connector cable will cost €10 and the first ten people to order them get them. Postage will be €5 for Europe.

Thanks,
Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 18:09, 18 July 11
And with the Hardware the new Software comes along.
 
Yesterday I uploaded the new version of the FlashROManager. Now it has the "Check Flash" option. This is a fair compromise between time and depth. So it will check all 512 KB Flash for errors. It will need six minutes and it will check with values &00, &55, &AA and &FF.
 
I hope you like it. (At the moment a detailed error anaylsis is missing, but if it finds an error, the border will flash in (turn to) yellow-orange. Else (no Flash error) the border becomes blue (black) again.
 
A question : would it give the possibility to switch off each bank individually or 16 bank at a time ? If not, why ?

There is no need for a hardware solution, we planned to create the MegaFlash as cheap as possible.
 
So if you want to switch on or off some ROMs you can just use the Unpark / Park function of the FlashROManager Software. And you can get it for FutureOS and for BASIC. (Also a ROM is planned).
 
An usable ROM configuration most probably have to change the ROM distribution from boot to boot or it will give much work to software reset/reload the various banks from disk between two differents usages  :-[ . That why a simple switch system would be so useful.
But I'm still interested for sure , whatever happen.

The software provides an option to load all 32 ROMs at once. But you need a 0.7 MB formatted disc. I suggest Vortex Format (tested).
 
Another question about the banks, but not specifically Megaflash-related this time (RAMCARD and other Rom-Ram Boxes are concerned too)
Counsidering Bank 0 and 1 are covered by the card, is that possible to override the motherboard's BASIC and Firmware banks ? i.e having BASIC 1.1 on a 464 for example...

Well, it would crash the CPC if you use another BASIC. Because if you replace the BASIC version, then you MUST replace the Lower ROM in addition. Only a replacement of both will work.
 
 
Another interesting option would be the ability to have various "flavors" of 0 (e.g. 464/6128/6128+) and 7 (AMSDOS/PARADOS/&friends) selectable for the many pieces of software that won't work on the more advanced ones - I have switches to toggle among the first two of each (in piggy-backed physical EPROMs) on my old-generation 6128 of course.

You can install different DOS (Amsdos, VDOS, XD-DOS, RDOS and maybe ParaDOS) in different ROM slots. The DOS with the _smallest_ ROM number will always be active. The other DOSes should be parked to save RAM.
 
If you only have a single DOS UNparked (normal) and all others are parked, then you will work with that DOS without problems, but...
 
You will get problems with software that directly uses ROM7.
 
 
Strange, I also always thought that the ACID only enabled enhanced features and it's also documented that way (or at least confusingly) in many places which would lead you to believe that, but I have been corrected by people who know better and I have also confirmed this with my own tests. The ACID is always required.

Well, the ASIC (the big chip on the motherboard) provides the additional features of the CPC Plus. And the ACID (small chip on every cartridge) is only for copy-protection means. Both chips are needed to run a CPC Plus (disregarding Octoates ACID replacement).
 
If you inserted a tiny board with just an ASIC on it into the cartridge slot, the plus will boot. It will then read "floating bus" unless some roms assert themselves. So then the roms need to be provided externally (rom board to provide 0-15, other to provide OS) ;)

Well, that is coming close, but it's not enough. There must be a lower ROM in addition, the Z80 will start to work at address &0000 (after power-on / reset) and external ROM boards don't provide a lower ROM (disregarding the MF2).
 
I haven't forgotten the Flash-disc idea. However this is not a project that must be startet now, since I'm currently in developping half a dozend of things at the same time. So hopefully later on ;-)
Also I guess it's an advantage to listen to people, what do they want. Just taking some time to think about it.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 23:18, 18 July 11
After a long weekend and a Monday full or work...
 
MegaFlash and ROManager Demo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fUnccR9HTs#ws)
 
Video showing CPC Plus from Bryce working with the brand new MegaFlashROM. Thank's to Bryce for the Video! Now it all works well :)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: qbert on 00:02, 19 July 11
luuuuuve it !!  :P
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Gryzor on 11:32, 19 July 11
Love the Ding sound. Great job!!!!

One small suggestion: can you draw a window for the file list on the right? It doesn't look too good right now...
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 11:51, 19 July 11
The "Ding" sound is a very pleasant sound when you program the device once. But when you spend an entire evening testing the MegaFlash and you've heard that sound over 100 times, it does tend to get very irritating, but that's not a worry for the normal user.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Gryzor on 11:53, 19 July 11
The "Ding" sound is a very pleasant sound when you program the device once. But when you spend an entire evening testing the MegaFlash and you've heard that sound over 100 times, it does tend to get very irritating, but that's not a worry for the normal user.

Bryce.


No "Mute" button on your CPC? :p

Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: redbox on 12:08, 19 July 11
Video showing CPC Plus from Bryce working with the brand new MegaFlashROM. Thank's to Bryce for the Video! Now it all works well :)


Great work Bryce and TFM, looks really good.


Btw Bryce, you need a copy of my patched cartridge (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Plus_System_Cartridge#Patched_Cartridges) - no annoying f1/f2 menu and you can still access Burnin' Rubber if you really want to by RSX  :)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 12:12, 19 July 11
Actually, I usually use a patched ROM on the MegaFlash which also skips the F1/F2 screen, but the MegaFlash was empty (other than Maxam) for the Demo.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: redbox on 12:26, 19 July 11
Ah ok, will let you off just this once  ;)


Forgot to say that the picture on your monitor from the modulator looks really good too.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 12:33, 19 July 11
Thanks, the picture is being produced using my S-Video Modulator being fed into a V2V S-Video to VGA converter. The monitor is a standard 19" 4:3 LCD VGA Monitor.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 18:07, 19 July 11
Love the Ding sound. Great job!!!!

One small suggestion: can you draw a window for the file list on the right? It doesn't look too good right now...

You can use a comfortable file-selector when using the version for FutureOS.
 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 18:13, 19 July 11

Great work Bryce and TFM, looks really good.


Btw Bryce, you need a copy of my patched cartridge (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Plus_System_Cartridge#Patched_Cartridges) - no annoying f1/f2 menu and you can still access Burnin' Rubber if you really want to by RSX  :)

Thanks! For the Cart did you use the patched Incron Amsdos ROM? Or did you use another way? I'm just curious.
 
On my Plus I have (currently) the old ROM-RAM-Box with the Inicron-Patched-Amdsos. So it's the old Amsdos, fulliy compatible, but pachted to NOT-crash with the Plus, also the F1-F2 Menue is missing. I always thought it would be good to integrate that one in the Cart itself.
 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: redbox on 18:24, 19 July 11
Thanks! For the Cart did you use the patched Incron Amsdos ROM? Or did you use another way? I'm just curious.


I did try to patch the Amsdos ROM at first, but then found that the OS ROM actually called the menu in the Amsdos ROM.  Therefore, I patched the OS ROM to start Basic instead and because the Plus Amsdos ROM has RSXs for Burnin' Rubber (|GAME, |JEUX, |SPIEL or |JUEGO) it didn't need to be altered in any way. 


I know you can get rid of the menu by replacing Amsdos with for example Parados, but this means you can't access the Burnin' Rubber game anymore because the RSXs in the Plus Amsdos are lost.



On my Plus I have (currently) the old ROM-RAM-Box with the Inicron-Patched-Amdsos. So it's the old Amsdos, fulliy compatible, but pachted to NOT-crash with the Plus, also the F1-F2 Menue is missing. I always thought it would be good to integrate that one in the Cart itself.


I didn't realise the Plus version of Amsdos had any compatibility problems.  What causes it to crash?
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 18:35, 19 July 11
I didn't realise the Plus version of Amsdos had any compatibility problems.  What causes it to crash?

Yes, some software is not running with the Plus Amsdos (0.70), because it's made for the CPC oG Amdos (0.50) and jumps directly into the ROM. Especially some games have the problem. If the Plus has the old Amsdos you can't start Burnin Rubber again, but more old games will run. Therefore it's an advantage to have it on a ROM that can be switched on or off.
 
If you just replace the Amsdos 0.7 in the Cartridge with the old Amsdos 0.5 then the system will crash. This happens due to the fact that the OS jumps in the Amsdos at power on - but you mentioned this before. And if you have patched the OS to NOT-jump into Amsdos it shouldn't be a problem at all.
 
I can't tell about ParaDOS, since I never use it. It's for sure a great DOS, but I have all my soft on Vortex format and so I use XD-DOS which has a nice set of RSX commands and supports Vortex-Format too (so I don't have to use VDOS). Just for curiosity: In Germany we worked for a decade with XD-DOS, Parados didn't leave the island for a long time. So the old sceners all use Vortex format - and this is not at all supported by Parados. So, just bad luck, but no offense.
 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: redbox on 18:40, 19 July 11
Yes, some software is not running with the Plus Amsdos (0.70), because it's made for the CPC oG Amdos (0.50) and jumps directly into the ROM. Especially some games have the problem. If the Plus has the old Amsdos you can't start Burnin Rubber again, but more old games will run. Therefore it's an advantage to have it on a ROM that can be switched on or off.


Didn't know this and thanks for the explanation.



If you just replace the Amsdos 0.7 in the Cartridge with the old Amsdos 0.5 then the system will crash. This happens due to the fact that the OS jumps in the Amsdos at power on - but you mentioned this before. And if you have patched the OS to NOT-jump into Amsdos it shouldn't be a problem at all.


Yes and I think it's pure luck that a non-patched Plus OS doesn't crash the Parados ROM (unless the author was very clever and took the Plus into consideration when programming it).


I can build you an image that contains the patched Plus OS and Amsdos 0.5 if you want as this would work?
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 18:44, 19 July 11
Yes and I think it's pure luck that a non-patched Plus OS doesn't crash the Parados ROM (unless the author was very clever and took the Plus into consideration when programming it).

Hehehe! I LIKE the way you think  :laugh:
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 22:25, 19 July 11
Because I asked him to.

Bryce.

Edit: Mainly because of the name: The Device is called MegaFlash, not MegaFlashROM, and I didn't want it to be documented under the wrong name.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Executioner on 02:22, 21 July 11
My understanding is the same.

The ACID talks to the ASIC. If the conversion is not correct, the z80 is forced to read bad data and it will then crash.

How did you come to that conclusion? I just assumed (possibly incorrectly) from all the documentation that the data available to Plus from the cartridge port had to be encrypted by the ACID (not the ROM itself) before being presented to the Plus on the other side of the cartridge connection which then decrypted that data with it's own internal un-ACID (probably internal to the ASIC).

Quote
I think the idea is that a cartridge *MUST* be inserted for the plus to run, but only because the cartridge also contains the acid.
The ROM data is not encrypted as we know.

If you inserted a tiny board with just an ASIC on it into the cartridge slot, the plus will boot. It will then read "floating bus" unless some roms assert themselves.  So then the roms need to be provided externally (rom board to provide 0-15, other to provide OS) ;)

Has anyone ever made a tiny board with just an ACID to test this either? Is there a ROM board that will provide a lower ROM?
Title: Re: Advantages of switchable ROMs 0 and 7
Post by: OCT on 08:11, 21 July 11
some software is not running with the Plus Amsdos (0.70), because it's made for the CPC oG Amdos (0.50) and jumps directly into the ROM. Especially some games have the problem. If the Plus has the old Amsdos you can't start Burnin Rubber again, but more old games will run. Therefore it's an advantage to have it on a ROM that can be switched on or off.
 
If you just replace the Amsdos 0.7 in the Cartridge with the old Amsdos 0.5 then the system will crash. This happens due to the fact that the OS jumps in the Amsdos at power on - but you mentioned this before. And if you have patched the OS to NOT-jump into Amsdos it shouldn't be a problem at all.
 
I can't tell about ParaDOS, since I never use it. It's for sure a great DOS, but I have all my soft on Vortex format and so I use XD-DOS which has a nice set of RSX commands and supports Vortex-Format too (so I don't have to use VDOS). Just for curiosity: In Germany we worked for a decade with XD-DOS, Parados didn't leave the island for a long time. So the old sceners all use Vortex format - and this is not at all supported by Parados. So, just bad luck
The lucky affluent ones who could afford Vortex/Dobbertin back in the day, that is. ;)
Hence the idea to have, say, two (rather than single) bits of DIP switch ("Mäuseklavier" pour les initiés :D) to get 3+1 choices (the latter on the cartridge and 3 on the MegaFlash) for each of ROMs 0 and 7 (as few low-level applications will bother looking anywhere else), allowing for perfect compatibility from having all flavors of OS and DOS available (at their standard ROM numbers) on one machine.
Yes, it would require some minimal circuitry/logic to have each of these appear at the standard ROM numbers, but the only alternative would be hard-hacking a cartridge for the Plus, or piggy-backing ROMs on the old-gen CPCs.
Presumably only very few people (if anyone) would miss the "opportunity" to have more than 28 ROMs installed at once (when dedicating 2 more slots to each 0 and 7), but the benefits of switchable (D)OSes would be felt by anyone ever encountering old software (unsurprisingly on a CPC :D).

While a little tricky to put the concept into words, it will be quite intuitive to use.

BTW, do make this an option on the forthcoming Symbiface3 (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?topic=2482.0) too (this is a blatant, blunt attempt to summon it back onto its road to release ;) before Bryce and rpalmer have to re-invent its each and every feature :)).
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 10:39, 21 July 11
@Executioner: The ACID definitely doesn't encrypt any data, it reads a few bits, makes a calculation and sets a single control signal to 0 or 1 depending on the outcome. The data lines of the cartridge ROM are parallel to the ACID, they don't go through it, so they are directly connected to the data bus.

@OCT: Thanks for the idea, but the MegaFlash hardware is now final, no further changes, so you'll have to wait for the SF3 and hope that Dr. Zed has incorporated this.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: arnoldemu on 10:57, 21 July 11
How did you come to that conclusion? I just assumed (possibly incorrectly) from all the documentation that the data available to Plus from the cartridge port had to be encrypted by the ACID (not the ROM itself) before being presented to the Plus on the other side of the cartridge connection which then decrypted that data with it's own internal un-ACID (probably internal to the ASIC).
I dumped some carts using an Amiga a few years ago. I set the ACID to inactive (some lines to 0v some to 5v). I read the data without breaking the cart and non of it was encrypted.

some info is on my website.

Also, testing by mcleod_ideafix (when investigating an acid replacement) showed that without the acid the z80 reads bad data, it seems to be floating bus. The ASIC doesn't get an answer, so tells the z80 to read the wrong thing.

The value is 0x079 or so which is the same from doing an IN to an unmapped port on Plus.

Has anyone ever made a tiny board with just an ACID to test this either? Is there a ROM board that will provide a lower ROM?
Yes, Amstrad did it in their demonstrator hardware (The csd). ;)
I think.

Or the acid may be moved onto the daughter board.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 11:24, 21 July 11
There were two devices that could replace the lower ROM:

ACUs ROM Changer:
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/ACU_Romchanger (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/ACU_Romchanger)

And FO DOS:
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/FO-DOS (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/FO-DOS)

As far as "only ACID" in cartridge is concerned: I have a small project that puts the ACID inside the CPC so that cartridges don't need to have one, but I never released this project. If anyones interested, I can dig out the info and put it on the Wiki.

Anyone who has converted a cartridge to Socket (for swapping ROMs) can also do the "ACID only" test.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: arnoldemu on 11:29, 21 July 11
As far as "only ACID" in cartridge is concerned: I have a small project that puts the ACID inside the CPC so that cartridges don't need to have one, but I never released this project. If anyones interested, I can dig out the info and put it on the Wiki.
I would like to see this in the wiki for completeness.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 11:43, 21 July 11
No problem, I'll dig it out and document it when I have time.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: OCT on 00:21, 22 July 11
@OCT: Thanks for the idea, but the MegaFlash hardware is now final, no further changes, so you'll have to wait for the SF3 and hope that Dr. Zed has incorporated this.
Could be a looong wait if that thread (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?topic=2482.0) is any guide. And longer yet to get replies from Prodatron... ;)

Without tons of bells and whistles actual or announced, yours has the advantage of being available.  :)
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 06:55, 22 July 11
@OCT: I undestand your POV. And it's a good thing to have ideas, and to share them. On the other hand it makes it dangerous, beause the good thing about a final design is, that the product will be available. On the other hand if you incorporate a couple of good ideas more, then the design must be changed again and again. So the release would take place rather in years than now.
 
IMHO it's a good thing to finish something and release it. It's just a good feeling to be able to do something for the community.
 
On the other hand it would also make sense to think about future projects and expansion cards with multiple functions. However to create such a beast is very, very time consuming. Before we can start dreaming we must check if such a project would be realistic.
 
There is another point I want to mention, even if I'm getting a bit offtopic now. When creating new hardware it _IS_ a very important point to be compatible to existing expansions. Bryce did show with a variety of expansions that this is doable. Why? Well, if you don't stay compatible, then we will end up with 10 kinds of cards to perform function XY and every kind of card will be owned by three people and it will just be chaos. (For example I do know six working hard-disc controllers for the CPC!).
 
So whatever we intend to plan for the future, let's try to stay compatible with existing expansions which perform similar functions. In addition we will already HAVE software dealing with it.
 
 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: rpalmer on 13:27, 22 July 11
in response to TFM/FS about compatibility,

I agree that its always best to agree on some standards for hardware connected to the CPC, but it is also difficult to get to a standard since there are so few free I/O ports to work with and that with so many devices that have been developed there is going to be the inevitable collision of devices using the same I/O port.

In an ideal situation the software should not be hardware coded for specific I/O ports. This makes the software really fixed to one device and could make the whole project less than desirable against similar hardware.

The only software I know of which has this built into its design is of course the HDOS ROM (that I have developed and released) which relies on device drivers controlling the additional hardware (such as IDE/8255, SymbiFace, Yarek IDE, etc).  The HDOS system has only the standard floppy and RAM disk drivers.

I plan to implement the same philosophy in the development of the CPC-Ethernet card.  I have already created a draft of the drivers for the hardware and the driver handling for HDOS allows for the management of the routines to be available to external software, such as TCP/IP in ROM or any other custom software.

It would be nice if the megaflash, IDE/8255 and ethernet card combo (including all software) were connected up on one machine to really show off what the CPC could do!

rpalmer
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 13:49, 22 July 11
With ROMBoards (including the MegaROM and MegaFlash), it's quite easy, because there aren't different addresses you can use. The address HAS to always be the same, otherwise it just won't work. The only problem that occurs is when the ROMBoard doesn't fully decode the address bus and answers to several addresses or several ROM Numbers for a single ROM. The MegaROM and MegaFlash don't have this problem, but some of the old ROMBoards (both DIY and commercial) had this problem.

Bryce.
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: rpalmer on 22:34, 22 July 11
indeed you are correct bryce, that some devices only partially decode the I/O address and this quite evident when you look at how the standard I/O ports on all CPCs use a specific address line for an I/O port.

rpalmer
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 23:19, 22 July 11
In an ideal situation the software should not be hardware coded for specific I/O ports. This makes the software really fixed to one device and could make the whole project less than desirable against similar hardware.

Well, I agree a lot with you :-) But not in this point. Software specially written for one hardware is way more superior to genetic drivers or drivers at all. It's not only more quick, it's also more reliable and stable. As example FutureOS may serve, which provides very quick functions for a lot of hardware.
The downside of it is, that you always have to redo your software for every new piece of hardware. But rather I have more work, then having not the most efficient routines. I just like the challenge :-)
 
 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Executioner on 01:32, 26 July 11
There were two devices that could replace the lower ROM:

ACUs ROM Changer:
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/ACU_Romchanger (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/ACU_Romchanger)

And FO DOS:
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/FO-DOS (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/FO-DOS)

As far as "only ACID" in cartridge is concerned: I have a small project that puts the ACID inside the CPC so that cartridges don't need to have one, but I never released this project. If anyones interested, I can dig out the info and put it on the Wiki.

Interesting. Do these work on a Plus? All Plus catridges have an ACID inside them, so if you could simply change the lower ROM (and upper) in a ROM board, you could boot into the OS with any game cartridge in the cartridge port so long as it had an ACID in the cartridge.

Do we already have non-destructive ways to dump cartridges? Are there any cartridges left to dump (that we can get hold of), and what ever happened to Chase HQ 2?
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: Bryce on 10:11, 26 July 11
Amstrad managed to keep the expansion port on the Plus compatible with the Classic CPC, although the hardware behind the port is very different, so technically they should work on a plus too.

Cartridges can be easily dumped in a non-destructive way, but all known cartridges have already been dumped and the images are readily available online. Except for the elusive CHQ2, which still holds the coveted status of "Myth?".

Bryce.

 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: arnoldemu on 11:37, 26 July 11
Interesting. Do these work on a Plus? All Plus catridges have an ACID inside them, so if you could simply change the lower ROM (and upper) in a ROM board, you could boot into the OS with any game cartridge in the cartridge port so long as it had an ACID in the cartridge.
Yes I think that should work.

Do we already have non-destructive ways to dump cartridges? Are there any cartridges left to dump (that we can get hold of), and what ever happened to Chase HQ 2?
I will dig out my amiga files. My original hardware was made for the amiga a1200.
The software was written in 68000, and the reader was wire-wrapped. It had 2 x 12-bit ripple counters. It took time to make ;)

Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: TFM on 22:43, 05 April 13
Did you find it?
 
Title: Re: MegaFlash Progress
Post by: dcdrac on 23:24, 05 April 13
Does this help?
 
Plus | The Amstrad CPC news portal (http://www.octoate.de/wp/tag/plus/)